Summer of canal restoration

PRESS RELEASE: Summer of Canal Restoration

Date: 4th July 2014

Since the 1960s hundreds of miles of canals and river navigations have been saved from dereliction and gradually more and more miles are being brought back to life by dedicated volunteer groups around the country.

For more than 40 years, The Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) has supported restoration of derelict inland waterways by co-ordinating volunteers and providing expertise and equipment.  Every summer, WRG organises over 25 week-long working holidays aimed at giving canal restoration projects a ‘big push’ with extra volunteers, technical support and advice.

WRG’s summer season of canal restoration kicks off this Saturday (5th July) with over 60 volunteers spending the week working on three different projects, on the Grantham Canal in Nottinghamshire, the Monmouthshire Canal in South Wales and the Cotswold Canals in Gloucestershire.

There are 22 Canal Camps running this summer, to which volunteers are invited to get their hands dirty and try something completely different. Some of the tasks lined up this year include, starting the restoration of Inglesham Lock on the Cotswold Canals near Lechlade, relining a section of the Lancaster Canal at Stainton, and, a new addition, carrying out towpath improvement work on the Pocklington Canal in East Yorkshire. WRG Camps offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and other restoration techniques.

Last year WRG volunteers spent nearly 5000 volunteer days helping restore the canals of England and Wales on our Canal Camps and weekend digs. With more volunteering opportunities on offer this summer we hope that even greater progress can be made on a number of restoration projects.

Come and see WRG in action!

Notes for Editors:
WRG has helped restore many derelict waterways throughout Britain - one of WRG's largest projects has been the complete rebuilding of the four Frankton Locks and the three Aston Locks on the Montgomery Canal, which passes through the spectacular Welsh Borders. Other projects include the construction of Over Basin on the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal and more recently the restoration of Droitwich Barge Lock in the Midlands.

Thanks to the hard work of the volunteers, many canals have been reopened, while others are well on the way. Many more have not yet reached that stage - it is up to us, the volunteers, to demonstrate what can be done.

For more details or to arrange a site visit please contact Jenny Black on 01494 783 453 ext 604 or email jenny.black@waterways.org.uk